Practicing Social Distancing When Grocery Shopping

Last night my family expressed two wishes: my husband wanted me to make coq au vin for dinner; and my daughters were craving our favourite chocolate cake. When I woke up this morning, I decided to take the time to bring smiles to their faces. Yes! I went on the dreaded grocery run. I added a few other items to my list and stepped out of our home at 8:30am this morning.

Usually when I shop at the grocery store this early on a Saturday morning, my experience is quick. Not many people get out of bed early after a long week of work to go grocery shopping. Now, however, lines to get into the store cannot be avoided – no matter how early you shop.

The mall where I do my grocery shopping is eerily quiet as the only store open in the centre is the one that sells food. My fellow Canadians are adjusting to social distancing and we all stood 2 feet apart while waiting patiently to enter the shop. What saddens me though is that this practice has stopped people from talking to one another. The chatter of the child standing behind me with his mother was a welcome respite.

I completed my shopping quickly, cognisant of the fact that others were waiting to enter the store. Once home, I placed the cake and the ingredients for tonight’s dinner in the fridge. I look forward to my daughters’ squeals of delight when they open the fridge later today. I will make the shopping experience worthwhile.

When was the last time you went grocery shopping? What was your experience like?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post was my first attempt to participate in the Six Word Saturday challenge)

Weekend Coffee Share: Fourteen Days Already

If we were having coffee, it would once again be virtual. On Friday we experienced the fourteenth day of social distancing and isolation from others. I have now reached the point where I am beginning to feel the isolation and the confinement of our apartment walls. I am lucky that I live with people and therefore do have others to spend time with – I feel for those that live alone.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been speaking to people virtually – and the connection with a different person has been good. I have spoken to my mom in South Africa – a country that has just entered a 3 week lockdown. I am pleased that she is not alone and that she is able to go outside and spend time in the garden. I have also spoke to a colleague – and we had our first virtual staff meeting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that a garden is what I am missing right now. People who have gardens are doubly lucky at this moment as they are able to move around outside. I do wish the weather were a little warmer here then I would be able to sit out on the balcony and read. I guess that time will come as we have been told that social distancing will go on indefinitely.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have moved closer to connecting with my students virtually. I have figured out how to set up my Google Classroom and am now in the process of connecting my students. It is slow going as the emails with parents are going back and forth and I cannot see exactly what it is they have on their screen. But I have hope that we will eventually get there.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been reading more than usual – though not always as sometimes I feel the need to move onto another activity. I have found pleasure in listening to audio books while journaling and have put a number on hold at the library. I have not listened to books in the past but now I think I have found a new habit. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would wish you well with your experience of social distancing. Stay safe, and stay healthy

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Eclectic Ali and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Finally Figured Out My Google Classroom

On Thursday and Friday I sat in front of my computer for hours trying to figure out how to set up a Google Classroom so that I can communicate with my students online. It was not easy doing so as I could not walk into a colleague’s classroom and ask for help. Thursday ended with my online classroom set up. I had made a post with links and attached documents.

On Friday, I worked through the more challenging step – connecting my grade 1 and 2 students to my digital space. I finally connected with two colleagues who gave me some advice. A tweet mentioned by my principal led me to the space where I could create passwords for my students – passwords that they would need to access the platform. By the end of the day yesterday, everything was set up and I closed my laptop with a sense of satisfaction.

I have emailed parents instructions and am waiting on them to attempt to log in and connect. There has been some back and forth between parents as they encounter problems but hopefully by Monday everyone will be connected. The week has been challenging for me as I worked through ways to create an online learning space for my students. It will be worth it, though, once we have crossed this hurdle.

What have you succeeded in doing this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post was my first attempt to participate in the Six Word Saturday challenge)

A Little Work From Home

If things were normal, yesterday would have been the first day back at school after the March Break but instead we are all practicing social distancing and staying at home. In the morning, I logged into my work email and responded to the ones I had waiting for me from the parents. Reading the email from my principal, the message I got from it was to be patient. I then decided to work on binding the inquiry my class had worked on and completed before the break.

While working, I listened to the second digital book I have borrowed from the library. I chose a book that was immediately available: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. I have previously read and enjoyed some of her stories so knew that this one would pleasantly pass the time while doing a mind-numbing task. I am loving the story so far – and laughing out loud at some of the antics the characters get up to (as well as what they say!).

This morning I woke up to an email once again reminding us to be patient as the school board works on the guidelines for distance learning: they want to consider the implications of not all families having access to technology; and the fact that many parents are expected to work at their own job. Today I will begin to figure out my planning and think of ways in which parents can implement what I had planned for the rest of the school year.

Today I begin my second day of working from home while my own children learn from home. The experience is going to be challenging in the small space we have but we are up for it.

Are you working from home?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Weekend Coffee Share: One Week Done

If we were having coffee, we would be sharing a cuppa virtually. For the past week my family and I have been practising social distancing and have therefore cancelled all get-togethers with friends. The past week was March Break, a week off for schools in our province. Instead of following my usual routine of shopping, attending group fitness classes at noon, and spending time with a friend, I have spent the week at home minimising my contact with others.

If we were having coffee, I would admit that I do miss the opportunity of socialising with others and the lack of socialisation has sometimes led to moments of sadness. However, I am lucky that I live with people with whom I get on – and my daughter is always good at lifting a person’s spirits. I have spent the week reading (a lot!), working on my bullet journal, speaking to some family members in South Africa, cleaning, and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. The days have flowed into one another with no distinction and each day I wake up reminding myself of what day it is.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for the next two following weeks, schools all over the province will be closed in order to combat the virus and attempt to flatten the curve. I cannot say that I look forward to another two weeks of being housebound! I am prepared, however, and plan to work on some of the marking I brought home with me from school. Tomorrow I will check-in and see if our principal has any plans for online meetings. The next two months is usually the time period during which plans are made for the following academic school year. I foresee us doing some planning remotely.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the shelves at the supermarket are not as empty. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The shopping hours have been reduced giving the workers time to unpack the orders.
  • The managers have put up signs stating how many articles of the product a person is able to buy. This is especially relevant for toilet paper. Now if a shopper needs this product, it is available!
  • There is only so much food a person can stockpile!

Other rules have changed in the supermarket such as now it is mandatory to pay with a credit/debit card; re-usable shopping bags will not be packed by the workers; cleaning of self-serve kiosks after each use. It is interesting to note that no-one lingers any longer while doing their shopping. In my neighbourhood, the shopping mall is unusually quiet as the only business open is the grocery store.

If we were having coffee, I would encourage you to look after yourself during this time period. It is so important to think of our mental health as well as our physical health. Keep well and until next week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Eclectic Ali and the Weekend Coffee Share)